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30 January 2019

Boeing autonomous air vehicle completes first flight in Virginia

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com

Boeing has completed a test flight of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in the US.

The electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft was developed through a collaboration between Boeing subsidiary companies Boeing NeXt and Aurora Flight Services.

Boeing NeXt works with regulatory agencies and industry partners to help introduce new mobility modes and ensure autonomous and piloted air vehicles safely coexist.

Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt, says the company is working toward developing safe mobility in cities and regions around the world.

During the trial in Manassas, Virginia, the PAV prototype completed a controlled take-off, hover and landing, in which the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground systems were tested.

In the future, the company is to trial forward, wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes.

Boeing says the air vehicle’s electric propulsion system allows the vehicle to fly with a range up to 50 miles to efficient hover and forward flight.

Boeing is not the only company moving into the air taxi space. Last December, Quantum XYZ announced its intention to use SureFly’s eight-rotor hybrid ‘octocopters’ to launch an air taxi service in Los Angeles.

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